Dubai, Oct 1 (IANS) Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul won the toss and elected to bowl first in a crucial match of the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Punjab skipper Rahul said they have watched other teams bat first and thought it would be better to chase a total. “Tricky to bat first here maybe. You don’t know if 150 will be good or 180. So better to ask the opposition to set that up. Our bowlers have done well in all three games. Batting hasn’t fired as well, but the opportunity to score big runs today. Hopefully, we don’t have to score big runs by restricting them,” Rahul said.
KKR skipper Eoin Morgan was not that unhappy being asked to bat first as he felt that the Dubai pitch has been more consistent than those at other venues. “Results on this ground haven’t been dictated by the toss. In the second phase teams that have played well have got the result. It is a used wicket today but doesn’t necessarily look that bad. Should be a good cricket wicket,” he said.
Punjab Kings made three changes to their squad. With Chris Gayle leaving the bubble, Fabian Allen comes in for him while experienced opener Mayank Agarwal has recovered from the niggle and replaces Mandeep. PKBS also brought in Shahrukh Khan for Harpreet Brar.
KKR made two changes to their squad. Tim Seifert makes his debut, replacing Lockie Ferguson while Shivam Mavi comes in for Sandeep Warrier. Morgan said Ferguson and Andre Russell, both with injuries, are being monitored day by day. “They have to rehab extremely well in order to be fit.”
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Tim Seifert, Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy.